HC Deb 28 January 1930 vol 234 cc828-31
5. Mr. G. GIBSON

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he has received, in response to his invitation, a memorandum from the Society of Motor Manufacturers advocating the retention of the McKenna Duties on imported motor cars in order to shelter the home market from unrestricted foreign competition; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?


Yes, Sir. I have received a memorandum from the Society of Motor Manufacturers in which, among a number of other matters, they advocate the retention of the McKenna Duties on imported motor cars. I am not in a position to make any statement.


Has the right hon. Gentleman given any assurance to the motor manufacturers whose representatives saw him, that will enable him to put an end to the uncertainty which now prevails throughout the whole of the industry?


It is not for me to give an assurance personally, as to the obligation of the Government. I discussed the matter fully with the motor interests and heard their views—and I know their views from the result of the discussion—and I have made the necessary representation on that subject.


Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate why he invited the motor car manufacturers to give him an expression of their opinion if he is not' prepared to put their recommendation into effect?

13. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the restrictions proposed on the sale of American cars by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders were the subject of discussion at the conversations which he had with the British motor trade and have his approval?


No, Sir.

29. Sir N. MOORE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any information as to the two new French Tariffs Bills; and whether their effect would be a general increase on French duties upon imported parts of motor cars and an increase on duties upon completed vehicles?


asked the President of the Board of Trade what added burden the increased protective duties under the new French tariff will have upon British motor cars exported to France?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. W. Graham)

Particulars of the proposed new specific duties on motor car parts were published in the Board of Trade Journal on 16th January, and particulars of those on complete vehicles will appear in the same publication on 30th January. The official explanation of the proposed changes is that owing to the difficulties of estimating the value of motor cars and parts the duty of 45 per cent. ad valorem at present laid down in the tariff has not in fact in all cases been levied. In regard to both parts and complete vehicles the new specific duties purport to be calculated so as to be equivalent to a real ad valorem duty of 45 per cent.


Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that this does not really mean an increase of the duty?


Yes, that is my present information. It is plain at the moment that the effort is rather to make the 45 per cent. ad valorem effective. I do not see any increase of tariff in it.

36. Mr. HANNON

asked the President of the Board of Trade if any measures are contemplated by the German Government to raise the existing tariffs on motor cars imported into that country or to limit the total number of cars to be imported, with quota appropriation to exporting countries; and if any representations are being made on the matter to the German Foreign Office?


I understand that the German manufacturers concerned have put forward suggestions on the lines indicated in the question, but that these suggestions have not been accepted by the German Government. The second part of the question does not therefore arise.


Will the right hon. Gentleman, through his representative at Berlin, carefully watch the process of events?


Yes, that is part of our duty. Every week I pay very close attention to all problems of this kind.


Does the fact that the German Government have not accepted this proposal arise from the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman's proposals for a tariff truce?


It would be difficult for me to connect the two circumstances this afternoon. If the hon. Gentleman wishes further details, I would rather that he put a question on the Paper.

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